Twenty Places to Visit / Things to Do in Bristol for Free

Twenty Places to Visit / Things to Do in Bristol for Free

Posted 12th Jun
We're visiting friends near Bristol for a few days soon, so have been having a look around for places / things to do for Free in that area

There are so many that look amazing, that I thought I'd share some I've found - too many for the time we are there, so have told the kid's / husband to be on their best behaviour so we get invited back

I really like doing this type of thread, so if popular, am thinking of doing a series of them focusing on one specific area at a time - let me know what you think

Get Deal link goes to the Bristol Museum's website - some fab museums included & all for free - will pop links to others that I know my kid's (9yrs & 8yrs) will enjoy below - feel free to add any you know of in the comments

Blaise Museum

A 650 acre Grade II registered parkland including children’s play area, museum and castle

See how people lived through time - what they wore, the toys they played with and how they managed their household chores. Find out about the history of the house, the landscaping of its estate and enjoy the beautiful Picture Room.


Situated on the historic Harbourside, M Shed is the history museum of Bristol -it tells the story of the city

M Shed explores the city’s history from prehistoric times to the 21st century. Plus there are working exhibits on the harbourside including steamboats, trains and cranes

The Matthew - reconstruction of a Tudor Ship- moored near the M-Shed on Prince’s Wharf

The Matthew of Bristol is a replica of the 15th century caravel that John Cabot sailed from Bristol to Newfoundland in 1497. Entry when we’re moored at the quayside is free

The Red Lodge Museum

An historic Elizabethan house with a beautiful garden that reflects a typical Elizabethan knot design - over 400 years of history in the museum - from ‘royal party house’ of the 16th Century to Victorian reform school for girls, see how the lodge has changed over time

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Set in 19 galleries over 3 floors, exhibits include natural history, dinosaurs, wildlife, history, ancient Egypt & more

Clifton Suspension Bridge & Visitor Centre

You can walk across the bridge for Free, entrance to the Visitor Centre with it's exhibition about the history of the bridge and the people who worked on it is also Free.
They also offer Free tours of the bridge that take place at 3pm every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday between Easter and October. There's no need to book - just meet the volunteer guide at the Clifton Toll Booth

Self Guided Banksy Art Trail- courtesy of wandereroftheworld

Bristol is the home town of street artist Banksy and there are many of his works around - print off the free maps above or download these apps - cost £1.99 - £2.99 depending on device

App at Google Play

App at iTunes

Bristol is famous for it's Street Art, & home to more than 200 Street Artists, if you want a more general tour of these, then there are paid for guided tours available HERE

Free Bristol Walking Tour - see site for dates / times

What you will see on the tour

  • The Clifton Suspension Bridge
  • Bristol Cathedral
  • Banksy's Graffiti Art
  • Clifton Village
  • Bristol Harbour
  • Cabot Tower
  • The SS Great Britain
  • A Victorian Shopping Arcade
  • The longest terrace in Europe (reputedly!)
  • Cary Grant's former hangouts
  • Where the greatest cricketer of all time lived
  • Where Napoleon III's wife went to school

Brandon Hill Park & Cabot Tower

Brandon Hill Park with nature reserve & the 105ft Cabot Tower which you can climb for panoramic views of the city

Bristol Cathedral

Bristol's beautiful historic Cathedral & gardens are free to visit and open to the public 365 days a year. They often free exhibitions and free lunchtime concerts too

Arnos Vale- this one might seem strange, but my kids like to visit cemeteries, not to be morbid but to look at the headstones for social history - this one looks amazing

45 green acres of spectacular Victorian Garden Cemetery with lots of events & self guided tours

More to do in Bristol

Treasure Island Trail- Treasure Island Trail around the Bristol's Harbour and explore Bristol's connections with Robert Louis Stephenson's Treasure Island

12 Free Nature Reserves - Bristol is home to 12 Nature reserves - lots to do, many with kids play areas

Ashton Court Estate- Country park and mansion with 850 acres of woodland and grassland including deer park and many activities.

Royal Fort Gardens - Featuring The Hollow - made from over 10000 unique tree species, which have been gathered by the artist from almost every country on the planet. Under your feet lie fossils, which span 390 million years, and above you thousands of unique tree samples connect across time and space, each with their own story to tell

Bristol & Bath Railway Path - cycle & foot path - which is a 3m wide tarmaced surface from end to end and an attractive leisure and wildlife route.

Bristol Blue Glass- Free entry to watch the glass being handblown

The Downs & Avon Gorge

The Downs is a huge area of protected parkland that neighbours Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge. Great for walking, sports, flying a kite and home to events throughout the year - also home to the infamous Rock Slide near the Clifton Observatory

Lots of walking routes t download on the link too including Bird Trail / Tree Trail

Hengrove Park

Large open space including a large adventure play park that has a 12 meter high dome with a jungle play experienceand wheels park for skateboarders and BMX riders

Community / City Farms

Windmill Hill City Farm

Lawrence Weston Community Farm

Grimsbury Farm

St Werburghs City Farm

Annual Events

Bristol International Balloon Festival- Thursday 8th - Sunday 11th August

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, attracting over 130 Hot Air Balloons from across the globe. The Fiesta truly is a sight that can only be seen in Bristol. Held over four days in August at Ashton Court Estate, the event is completely free

St Pauls Carnival- yearly celebration of African Caribbean culture in the city - this year Saturday 6th July

Upfest- taking a break for 2019 but back next year - it's Europe's largest Street Art & Graffiti festival

Bristol Harbour Festival- yearly event - taking place this year 19th - 21st July

The festival is free for all and brings over 250,000 people together each summer to celebrate our rich maritime history and enjoy some of the city’s best music and entertainment.

From the SS Great Britain all the way into the heart of Bristol, tall ships, music stages, dance areas, food markets, water display teams and circus acts combine to ensure that everywhere you turn, there’s something to delight and entertain.

The site spans from Welshback to the SS Great Britain

Bristol Open Doors yearly event - this year taking place 13th - 15th Spetember 2019

Bristol Open Doors is an annual chance to look behind closed doors and discover buildings and rooms that are usually closed to the public. Explore fascinating buildings, join guided tours - all for free
Community Updates


Top comments
I live here and didn’t know about half these things
Wow... thank you! Some amazing ideas...
This is indeed excellent post, we often go to Bristol area to visit family! Thank-you very much!
Don't miss Za Za Bazaar, kids will probably love it!
Blaise estate is great as they actually allow people to have BBQ's there,take dogs,fly drones,pretty much whatever you like,unlike most parks and such like.

I've got some great drone footage that i shot a few weeks back of Blaise castle.

Heat added
love the idea of throwing around free things to do in random cities. We’re having a “staycation” this year so this is perfect great post as usual @wishihadadonkey
I live here and didn’t know about half these things
As local punk rock indie band Idles would say... “Well Done”
You've also got Bath close by and the many things that city offers a well, such as Roman Baths, Beckford Tower, Sydney Gardens, Pultney Bridge, Victoria Park and horse racing, which is a great day out.
Edited by: "strikerman" 13th Jun
I live in Bristol I does
Highly recommend Bristol Museum - ok not as big as some of the London museums, but always interesting exhibits.
Leigh Woods is also a great walk with some good views of the bridge if you follow the path along the gorge, or walk the path down towards the river. Cross the Bridge from Clifton side and follow the first road on your right.

Very popular dog walking spot and some of the best views of the bridge from beneath. It also has a good mountain bike trail - also very popular.
Edited by: "monk_" 12th Jun
Also check out

The slidey rock near clifton suspension bridge

Blaise hamlet
I used to live there while at Uni and stayed for a few years till London called.

Still pop down to catch up with friends as Bristol is ace and most of the people too.

Traffic and parking is a female dog!
zetecrob12/06/2019 19:59

I live here and didn’t know about half these things

Many thanks OP
Hard to believe that the Underfall Yard isn't included as one of the twenty
Arnos Vale is a fascinating place. An unexpected treasure there is the mausoleum for Raja Rammohun Roy, Indian social reformer who died in Bristol from meningitis. It is built in an Indian style and is among the many grade II listed monuments in the cemetery.
If the weather is nice put that Cabot Tower visit to the top of your list, you’d be a fool not to.

From a very proud Bristolian.
Some amazing things to see and to do. Thanks for sharing
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